I will officially report that my faith in online reviews has been shaken. The Hotel Pennsylvania wasn't nearly as big of a dump as the reviews claimed. It was totally acceptable for anyone who needs a place to crash. Central location right across from Madison Square Garden, felt safe, flexible check in (we dumped our bags off before 1pm), and friendly enough staff (they checked us in). Lesson learned: take some time to critique online hotel reviews. Read between the lines.
Beyond the hotel, we hit up some great tourist destinations. The top of the Empire State Building:
Yay! View! Burr! Cold!
Afterwards we walked and walked all the way down to visit the hipsters on St. Mark's St in the East Village. Checking out the farmers market in Union Square on the way. Got some Urban Outfitter style clothing for Kmart prices on Broadway (stay South of Houston) - Amsterdam Clothing Store on Broadway was addictive - 10% off when you spend over $100 - oops/wahoo!
I really feels like you can walk anywhere in this town. It allows you to earn all those beers and late night mac 'n cheese - might have been the booze, but P.J. Clarke's is open until 4am, and theirs is MAC-tastic.